While the Dallas Mavericks have opened up the season with a pretty solid 9-5 start, they still have some very noticeable flaws and don’t match up the best with many Western Conference playoff-caliber teams.
Whether Dallas will seek to address some of their more fatal flaws before the trade deadline this year is completely up in the air, but it’s obvious through 14 games that this Mavericks team isn’t a perfect roster.
The Mavericks have fallen victim to plenty of rebounding and defensive woes early on, and they haven’t faced the hardest strength of schedule compared to other teams either.
5 Western Conference teams the Mavericks aren't ready for come playoff time
It will be intriguing to see if Dallas works to mend these issues via trade or a potential G-League call-up, or if they will try to just let the issues work themselves out over time with increased continuity.
We don’t know how Dallas will look come playoff time, but as of right now, they are still behind the curve compared to a few of their most formidable foes in the Western Conference this season. That being said, here are five Western Conference teams the Mavericks aren't ready for come playoff time.
5. Los Angeles Lakers
The vast majority of the Los Angeles Lakers fanbase has notoriously been given the label of "bandwagoners," and the fanbase has always had a tense relationship with the Mavericks fanbase given how many tough battles the Lakers and the Mavericks have had throughout their franchise histories.
That being said, Lakers fans may not be wrong about their team this year. The Lakers are currently 9-6, and despite a few growing pains early on, the roster seems like it has synchronized well together in this recent stretch.
The Lakers present an especially tough matchup for Dallas with their immense amount of positional size and length. Dallas saw just how problematic of an issue this could be last year when they lost against Los Angeles in February at home, as Laker's wing Jarred Vanderbilt clocked four steals as the primary defender on Luka Doncic.
Anthony Davis also had three blocks in that game and the Mavericks' don't necessarily have anyone on their roster that can deter him. Unless rookie Dereck Lively II somehow fares much better than expected when Dallas takes on the Lakers for the first time this season tonight, it's likely that the rebounding and defensive issues that have plagued Dallas all season may continue to persist tonight.
Unfortunately for Dallas, the Lakers have only bolstered both their offensive and defensive prowess this past off-season as they made a flurry of new additions. Cam Reddish and Taurean Prince have come in and provided great wing defense and have been extremely multi-faceted on offense for the Lakers despite both guys being labeled as 3-and-D wings.
Christian Wood has played extremely mediocre for the Lakers since joining them, which is a sigh of relief for Mavericks fans. However, the Lakers are much more strategically constructed than we saw in 2022-23. With LeBron James playing at an unprecedented level in his 21st season, the Lakers are simply a better and deeper team than Dallas on paper, so Dallas would have an extremely tough playoff series versus the Lakers if the pieces around James and Davis continue to flourish.